U.S. State Department’s Controversial Evacuation Assistance Approach in Israel

Amidst the ongoing crisis in Israel, American citizens relying on their government for support and protection have been confronted with a contentious approach from the U.S. State Department’s Consular Affairs Crisis Management System (CACMS). The CACMS has requested American citizens to sign promissory notes as a prerequisite for evacuation assistance, prompting concerns about the financial implications of such support. This approach has raised questions and criticisms regarding the U.S. government’s response to the crisis, which has left many American citizens in Israel in a challenging situation.

The email reads as follows:

The situation in Israel is still unpredictable; mortar and rocket fire may take place without warning. Please continue to follow the instructions of security and emergency response officials. Commercial flights are available but limited. If you wish to leave Israel, we encourage you to take advantage of those options now. U.S. carriers have temporarily suspended flights to Israel, if you choose to depart, you will need to fly to an intermediate location and book onward travel from there to the United States.

We understand there is high demand from U.S. citizens wishing to depart and the flight options are reduced. In the coming days we hope to assist U.S. citizens with transportation options to depart Israel. Due to the large numbers of U.S. citizens indicating interest in departure assistance, we will plan to offer transit over several days. If you choose to take this departure assistance, transportation may be by air or sea and will be to a nearby safe location and not to the United States. Travelers should be prepared to arrange their own lodging at the safe location and pay for their own onward travel from the third country to their chosen destination. Departure assistance is provided via a loan from the U.S. government which requires travelers to sign a promissory note (an agreement to repay) prior to departure.